The alleged Buffalo gunman revealed the radical views he said he fostered on the internet within the pages of his plan to attack a Buffalo, New York supermarket.
According to an ABC News assessment of the document, it contained racist and antisemitic rants similar to those expressed by shooters who committed comparable atrocities in El Paso, Texas, and Charleston, North Carolina, in recent years.
White nationalists and other far-right extremists have increasingly been labelled a “serious domestic terrorism threat” by federal security authorities.
However, experts on hatred in the United States say the most recent mass shooting demonstrates how little the country has done to address the growing threat of white supremacy.
Michael Edison Hayden, a senior investigative reporter at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told ABC News, “We’ve had too many wake-up calls at this point for me to feel confidence that we’re going to suddenly shift the current road that we’re on.”
Experts say that white nationalists don’t only appear like white-hooded Ku Klux Klan members from history books.
Experts say that because of the internet and the normalisation of harsh discourse in the media, radicalization can happen anywhere and without belonging to any particular group or organisation. It has created a climate in which right-wing extremism can live and expand.
Marc Morial, head of the civil rights organisation National Urban League, said ABC News, “We better grasp this is a clear and present risk to American democracy.”
Since 1994, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a nonprofit policy research group, purported right-wing attacks and plots have accounted for the bulk of all terrorist occurrences in the United States.
In an interview with ABC News, CSIS Senior Vice President Seth Jones said, “The last two years — 2021 and 2020 — were the highest documented years of domestic terrorism, plans, and assaults, so the patterns are fairly troubling.”
Jones, on the other hand, believes the federal government should do a better job of gathering and disseminating information regarding domestic terrorist attacks and plots, as well as alerting Americans about the dangers of right-wing extremism.
According to him, there is no public distribution of such information, making it impossible for Americans to comprehend the depth of the problem.
CSIS discovered that these attacks have been on the upswing since 2014. Hate crimes, including anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic acts, have also been on the rise, according to FBI data.
“It’s a hate and violence movement,” Morial remarked. “This isn’t simply a random person raving on the internet.”
According to Hayden and Morial, the normalisation of white supremacy and the rise of far-right dividing language aims to exploit the concerns of vulnerable populations about social issues, score political points, and acquire authority for those in power.
“This is going to keep happening as long as very wealthy individuals are ready to use these feelings of resentment in the country,” Hayden warned.
“The reality is, when they bring up brilliant replacement theory on the air, they know what they’re doing,” Hayden concluded. “When they dehumanise immigrants, they know what they’re doing. They understand the impact it will have on individuals who are already suspicious and fearful.”
White nationalist extremism in America may be combated in two ways, according to experts: personally and through policy.
According to experts, America’s gun violence crisis has only exacerbated racist violence. According to previous ABC News reporting, white supremacy has been the driving force behind multiple deadly mass shootings in recent years. Experts suggest that gun control efforts could help combat lethal extremism.
“This is a deep-seated problem in the United States,” Jones said, “especially in a culture where people have such easy access to guns.” “That, honestly, is the difference between the United States and Europe right now, which is also dealing with a substantial white nationalist threat in Germany, the United Kingdom, and numerous Nordic nations. They do not, however, have easy access to firearms.”
Others emphasise the necessity of government funding for enhanced security at community centres and gathering areas, as well as prevention programmes and resources that intervene in the radicalization process.
Experts advise calling out racism and white supremacy in your community as another strategy to de-normalize and de-platform racist beliefs on a personal level.
Experts also advise keeping an eye out for loved ones who may be exposed to radical ideologies online and not isolating them. Isolation and vulnerability, they claim, can lead to radicalisation.
Rashawn Ray, a senior scholar at The Brookings Institution, told ABC News, “Your silence is your acquiescence.” “Unfortunately, this is part of the DNA that gave birth to the United States of America, and despite progress, occurrences like this continue to prove that we are not as far forward as we think,” Ray added.